Let me start at the beginning. I have been married for 15 years this fall. I always thought if you treated your spouse with kindness they would reciprocate and do the same.

My husband was very kind and caring when we were dating. It wasn’t unusual for him to bring me roses and take me for a romantic candlelit dinner at our favorite bistro. I fell completely in love with him very soon after meeting him, knowing I could spend the rest of my life with this man. When he asked me to marry him I happily said, “I do,” and anticipated a life of growing old together with no major conflicts. Was I ever wrong.

It all started with a babysitter we hired. She was a young, attractive college coed, looking for summer employment and a place to live. In return for room and board and a small allowance, she agreed to watch our children for several hours a week, as well as doing some light housekeeping. It seemed like such a good arrangement.

We have a poolhouse tucked behind our house in a little grove of trees. It is fully equipped with a small kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and sitting area, as well as a nice screened in porch wrapping around the front and two sides. It is a perfect little nest for a nanny to use as her retreat after a hard day’s work. This is where we had Gretchen settle in after she came to live and work for us. It worked out beautifully at first, and we were all happy with the arrangement. Perhaps a bit too happy…………..

As we got to know Gretchen more, and her loneliness became obvious, it seemed only right to ask her to eat meals with our family and spend time in the main house rather than solitary evenings alone in the poolhouse. She would sit in the kitchen while I cooked dinner, and we would chat about her family back in West Virginia and how homesick she was for them. She would tell us about her struggles in school, and if there were any interesting friends she’d met recently. But it seemed she never was asked to do anything with people her own age, and we wondered why. Perhaps her beauty made other women jealous and intimidated the young men she came in contact with. Both my husband and I noticed this.

As time went on, my husband and Gretchen started playing card games in the evening while I cooked dinner and afterwards while I put the children to bed. I thought nothing of their innocent fun and high spirits until one night when I unexpectedly came downstairs. I paused on the landing of the stairs, stunned by what I was seeing right before my eyes. There, at the dining room table still littered with the remains of our meal sat my husband and Gretchen.

That man was cheating. He had hidden cards in his lap, and was secretly playing them when Gretchen wasn’t looking.

I decided to ignore the whole episode like it had never happened and went into the kitchen to brew a pot of coffee.

My question is this: Should I have blown the whistle on my husband, or was I right to pretend his cheating never happened?

Copyright © How To Catch a Cheater